Oct 17 New York Christies auction report

Yesterday Oct 17 Christies held its first New York auction sale of the season, the sale featured 19 Vacheron Constantin watches, mainly modern as well as a unique triple calendar minute repeater. The main information is that the Jubile 1755 models are going strong and seem to have stabilised at about list price. The next information is that even though most of the VCs went for above estimates there are still some good deals to be had!

Here's a brief overview:

Lot 97:  Unique Ref 4293, movement manufactured in 1943, cased and sold in 1957 38mm pink gold triple date minute repeater Estimate 250,000 - 500,000 U.S. sold for $457,000.

Half a million dollars is a hell of a lot of money but given its size, complication and uniqueness I would have thought that this watch would have sold for closer to $600k. I only hope that its the VC museum who bought it and that it will be available to be admired at the Maison Vacheron Constantin.


Oct 17 New York Christies auction report

Oct 17 New York Christies auction report

Lots 103-105: 3 Jubilé 1755 models in yellow, pink and white gold. The yellow gold model was estimated at $20,000 - $30,000 and sold for $29,800. The pink and white gold models were estimated at $25,000 -$30,000 and sold at $32,200.

Oct 17 New York Christies auction report

Lot 106: Rose gold skeleton Malte Tourbillon estimated at  $90,000 - $120,000 U.S. and sold for $106,600. A lot of money but still a good deal if you ask me :-)

Oct 17 New York Christies auction report

Lot 280: Yellow gold Mercator estimated at $10,000-$15,000 and doubled its low estimate selling for $20,000. The Mercator seems to be a watch which probably came too soon, it was too avant garde at the time of its launch (1994) and somehow was (and still is) under the radar for most collectors. At least that's the only explanation I can give on the price these models are selling for because for me if you take in consideration the very original time display and the amazing acid etched dials and its rarity this watch should be going for much more!

Oct 17 New York Christies auction report

Lot 281: Yellow gold Chronographe Historique estimated at $7,000 - $9,000 U.S.  and sold for $17,500. Believe me at this price the buyer got a good deal, a really good deal!

Oct 17 New York Christies auction report

Interesting results. Vacheron seems to be in a midway situation where
10/18/2007 - 18:16

the vintage and rare pieces have a high price on the secondary market  for ex: a second hand tourbillon at over $100,000 is a s***t load of $$$$ considering that a tourbillon from any major brand (excluding of course PP and VC) can be had for almost half that amount or even if you consider the Jubilee which is a day/date with power reserve selling for over $30,000!!

However the prices are not hitting the nutty and weird of a Patek Philippe. Had that  gorgeous ref 4293 had patek written on the dial I'm sure it would have gone for $1 million! But as William Massena wrote on another site: "People tend to buy a brand not a watch"

As you say, there are still some deals to be had not because of the hype but of the intricate beautiy of some of the watches such as the mercator or Chronograph Historique.

Very nice minute repeater
10/18/2007 - 21:16


I'm not an auction expert but i'm glad....
10/18/2007 - 22:17

with the Mercator and chrono historique results

You should used Speculator and not Mercator
10/19/2007 - 11:10

as a Login

I don't like the tone of your post....
10/19/2007 - 11:30

Alex, please, ban him

children...children...be good :-) (nt)
10/19/2007 - 12:55


Over all good prices !
10/19/2007 - 00:45

Especially in NY for VC's !

And yes, the Historiques chrono was a bargain,

who ever that lucky person is,

he made a really good deal


I am sad why the estimates are so low...
10/19/2007 - 07:30

compared to what they estimate for Pateks...simple no big deal patek may cost as much as the historique chrono! Go figure... this is really insane.

Re: Oct 17 New York Christies auction report
10/19/2007 - 10:17

Thank Alex for the summary and comments on these beautiful pieces. The results could have been better, especially the vintage triple date MR. I stand to be corrected but if you were to watch the online live auction, you will see there were some relatively long intervals when the price reached the low estimate somewhere, and the auctioneer waited a while before the price prgressively increased. I would have expected the intensity of the bidding process and exceeded the high estimate (excluding premium) witjout much resistence since it is a unique, rare and extremely important piece. If the dial were to be printed with the name of another manufacturer, it would have become another talk of "Who is Who of horology. Notwithstanding, it was still a successful and meaningful auction for VC!    



It's very much a "specialist" piece...
10/19/2007 - 23:15


From what I "heard"  there were at least two parties who were hoping to get it for their private collection and to share among serious watch aficionados.

But at least one of those doesn't like the bubbling, frothy markets, and thinks PP level prices on repeaters (as fantastic and consistent as they are) are a bit insane. Unfortunately, this party has suffered some personal set backs recently and can no longer disregard "liquidable value" in case of emergency.

Hence, the bidding "frenzy" never occurred. Given everything, and the relatively smallish (at this time) pool of serious bidders for such a piece as this (the triple date module is not THAT difficult to put onto a repeater base, according to a bench experienced master watchmaker friend) the price realized is actually pretty reasonable.

Keep in mind that the PP 3939H with tourbillon went for less...

One could argue the rarity and the fact that it's vintage and no longer in production; but that's a whole different set of value dynamics.

All in all, I can only hope to see the piece again in the VC museum...



thank you for the" in the know" explanation Thomas (nt)
10/20/2007 - 00:28


Just as a matter of time, you won't be able to buy...
10/19/2007 - 21:54

cheap VC watches in the auction.  VC doesn't mean "Very Cheap".



LOL good one Ling :-) (nt)
10/20/2007 - 00:29


Re: Oct 17 New York Christies auction report
10/20/2007 - 22:18

Hi folks ,

according to the Chrtisties results published on their website, lot #182 VC Chrono Les Historiques yellow gold was sold  11,250 only lot# 281 Malte Dual time Régulateur in 18WG was sold  17,500.

Have a good Vacheron week-end !